by Yvonne Bruce |
Tremont’s Lincoln Park is the green heart of our neighborhood. It has been enjoyed by Cleveland residents for almost 170 years, and never more so than now—and Tremont needs you to support its growth and continued popularity.
Since its beginnings in the 1850s, Lincoln Park has seen major improvements and updates, and today the park is better—and busier—than ever. The 1989 gazebo was replaced in 2017, thanks to efforts of the Auburn Block Club’s Friends of Lincoln Park, the TWDC, Councilman Kerry McCormack, Neighborhood Connections, other city and county departments, and many sponsors and volunteers. Since 2004, the Tremont Gardeners, which began as a grass-roots movement by residents to “promote communication among neighbors,” reduce crime, and create pocket gardens along Scranton, have beautified Lincoln Park’s corners and gazebo area. 2016 saw the installation of Cleveland artist Angelica Pozo’s mural on the short wall that encircles a portion of the gazebo area. Tremont resident Pozo, whose beautiful murals decorate many public spaces in Cleveland, worked with other Tremont and Cleveland stakeholders to create the Tremont Community Artist in Residence program, which raised the money to install the tiles that decorate the wall. The tiles themselves, depicting scenes from Tremont, were painted by Tremont residents, artists, and students at Tremont Montessori.
Lincoln Park has also benefited from the generosity of the Tremont Trek, Tremont’s annual tour of local homes. The Trek’s all-volunteer membership uses its proceeds to fund Tremont public projects—nearly $125,000 dollars has been dispersed since 2002. One of the Trek’s earliest micro-grant recipients was Lincoln Park, which used Trek funds to install the maps of Tremont that decorate its four corners. More recently, Trek proceeds funded a refreshing and replanting of all the park’s garden areas.
Lincoln Park hosts every summer’s weekly Tremont Farmers’ Market; the annual month-long Arts in August showcase of Cleveland music, dance, and theater; the annual Arts and Culture Fest, one of the biggest Cleveland venues for local food, art, and culture; the annual Scene Ale Fest, featuring dozens of regional beers and food; the annual Cleveland Shakespeare Festival; the annual Safety, Health, and Wellness event; the annual Family Painting in the Park day; the annual Big Wheel Relay to benefit the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center; and free summer youth tee-ball and soccer leagues.
In addition, the park is home to the hundreds of dog walkers, bikers, students, swimmers and jungle-gym climbers, brides and grooms, picnickers, yogis, and dreamers who use its spaces and facilities on any given day.
All this activity demonstrates that Lincoln Park is the vibrant heart of Tremont, but it also means that our beloved park needs continual upkeep, repair, and improvements to stay vibrant.
The City of Cleveland is responsible for mowing, trimming, trash removal, and basic maintenance in Lincoln Park, but these alone are not enough to keep it beautiful. The Tremont Gardeners work tirelessly to maintain the planting beds and gardens in the park, funding their efforts with a plant sale each May that provides new flowers, trees, and mulch for the year. The Auburn Block Club, whose residents live closest to the park, also sponsors a yearly park cleanup in anticipation of the Arts in August events.
This year, the Auburn Block Club is working actively with the City of Cleveland and other residents and stakeholders to make more significant improvements to the park. The city has already replaced a section of damaged sidewalk along Kenilworth; the block club is also calling on the city to restore the decorative iron trash bins inside the park, to straighten or replace damaged signage, to repair light posts, and to make other improvements volunteers cannot easily do themselves. The Mutt Hutt’s Becca Riker has graciously donated new doggie waste-station boxes to replace the old ones she donated nearly two decades ago, and the block club will keep these filled with waste bags so dog owners who forget their bags can still keep the park waste free.
But we need your help!
All Lincoln Park users can help during their visits by picking up a discarded pop bottle, by straightening a trash-bin lid, by pulling a weed. Remember that significant park maintenance and beautification depends solely on the work of volunteers, so anything you can do to support their efforts makes a difference.
We need more active participation, too. You can join the Tremont Gardeners by adopting a corner garden, participating in mulching or maintenance events, or helping at the annual plant sale. No gardening experience is necessary—just a desire to keep Lincoln Park beautiful. To join or for more information, email Sandy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have other skills or knowledge you can put to use in maintaining or repairing our beloved park, we also want to hear from you. Donations of bags for the doggie waste stations or additional supplies for maintaining the park are welcome, too. Please email Yvonne Bruce for more information, email@example.com.
Together, we can keep Lincoln Park the thriving center of Tremont life for another 170 years.